...Who is it? No, it’s not the plumber who's come to fix the sink, it’s John K. West.
(The above references a bit from the 1970's children's television program The Electric Company that ends with a frustrated plumber dropping dead on his customer's doorstep. Apparently, one of my take-aways from 1970's educational TV was that death by stress-induced cardiac arrest is HILARIOUS! That said...)
I live in Scottsdale, Arizona where I do professional graphic design and illustration, and I occupy a unique niche in those fields. My work is characterized by an awareness that good design makes life better for the people who experience it. The story a design tells can include a joke, have a happy ending and still be a highly effective business tool. Like life, commercial art should be enjoyed, not just endured. Advertising, social media, publications, brands… they can all sometimes benefit from an injection of lightness, beauty and humor. Those elements are something my illustrations and designs can provide.
MY REAL QUALIFICATIONS
Over the course of my 20-year career, I have had success as both a freelancer for small businesses and in leadership positions with large national corporations, including AAA and Republic Services. I've been honored for my illustration and design work with the Communicator Crystal Excellence Award and the PRSA Award of Merit, among others. I've had experience with every aspect of commercial art, from creative direction to pre-press, and from publications to environmental graphics. Perhaps my most important qualification is that my heart is in my work because I love what I do.
my fake qualifications
My love for commercial art manifested itself early. As a child, I arranged my gum wrapper collection in descending order of wordmark size, and I designed liveries for hundreds of paper airplanes. Unfortunately, my skill in aeronautical engineering was poor, and despite their attractive appearance, these planes could never actually fly more than 8 inches without crash landing. Additionally, I enjoy the distinction of being one of the people to successfully complete all 30 designs in the 1978 Spirograph instruction booklet.
Such extensive early training, combined with my dislike of math, prepared me to enroll in many, many, many, many, many, many, many art and design courses at Arizona State University. With these accumulated experiences under my belt, I established my illustrious career.
As stated earlier, I worked in some notable corporate contexts, whose huge successes are mostly attributable to the innovative graphics I created for them. Truth be told, I have practically run everyplace I've worked...into the ground (HAHAHA! Just kidding. I am so freakin' hilarious).
things i adore
In my free time, I adore bar fights and scaring sleeping children (that's a joke, I hate bar fights). It's not a joke, however, that I adore dogs and share my home with four rescued roommates, Doug and Betty (who are Boston terrier/who-knows-what mixes and therefore very small) and Max and Dave (who are Siberian huskies and therefore much larger). Dave had a popular Instagram account, but he got bored with it and hasn’t updated it in a while. He says I’m nagging when I bring it up, so I just leave it alone. He’s pictured with me above.
I adore France. If you're one of those Americans who doesn't… how’s about we talk about something else then? Along with my undergrad degree in art, I've also got both undergrad and graduate degrees in French language and literature. I speak pretty fluently (both French and English) and was lucky enough to land a job in France for a while. I also spent some time teaching French as an adjunct faculty member at ASU. I travel internationally as often as I can, but not to places that are dirty, places where they eat scorpions or places where a lot of trains derail (a/k/a places Anthony Bourdain would have visited).
In addition to dogs and France, I also adore the Swedish supergroup ABBA. I know their birthdays, middle names and hometowns—no joke (Agnetha Åse Fältskog, born April 5, 1950, is from Jönköping for example), I adore nonfat milk, Mamrie Hart, social media, most books, and the color yellow, especially Pantone 101 uncoated.*
*In the 90's, I adored the Spice Girls, but that's not the kind of information I like to broadcast in case I someday want to get a nomination to the Supreme Court or something. So keep this between us.